Oregon refuge occupier Jason Patrick on Thursday agreed to accept new conditions for his federal supervision to avoid heading back to prison.
U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown implored him to follow them: getting government-issued identification within 30 days, maintaining a job, filing an income tax return by April 15 and filling out monthly supervision sheets and ensuring they’re sent to and received by his probation officer.
If not, the judge warned Patrick, “You won’t be allowed to negotiate your way out of it again.’’
Patrick, now 46, was sentenced in February 2017 to one year and nine months in prison in the armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon. A jury convicted Patrick of conspiracy to impede federal workers through intimidation, threat or violence, a felony, and a judge convicted him of trespass, tampering with vehicles and equipment and destruction or removal of property, all misdemeanors.
At the time of his sentence, he had already served 16 months. He was released from prison March 30, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons. Most recently, he has been living in a trailer in Baker City.
He was arrested Feb. 27 on a warrant in Baker City, accused of violating his supervised release.
Brown said she issued the warrant because probation officer Brian Ring “had tried a number of efforts to reach’’ Patrick with no response.
In the past, prosecutors have argued that Patrick showed contempt for the court during hearings before his trial and at his trial. He repeatedly failed to carry any identification necessary to enter the courthouse and told Brown when he was late to court one day that he had no way to notify her and quipped that he’d communicate via carrier pigeon in the future.
In court Thursday, Brown said it was Patrick’s responsibility to ensure that his written monthly supervision reports are delivered to his probation officer, and not by carrier pigeon.
“I believe the U.S. mail works very well,” Patrick responded.
He agreed to abide by the new conditions, saying, “Yes, ma’am” to all the judge’s admonitions.
Later Thursday, he explained why he doesn’t carry government-issued IDs, such as a Social Security number or driver’s license.
“I have a strong religious objection to being numbered ‘like a sign on my hand and a reminder on my forehead’ (Exodus 13:9) and most especially to any number that makes it where one ‘could not buy or sell unless they had’ (Rev. 13:17) this number,” he wrote to The Oregonian/OregonLive.
So what government ID will Patrick use?
“The Federal Bureau of Prisons gave me an ID when I left and it’s still good,” he said. “I don’t have that strong of an objection to carrying this because I didn’t have to provide anything to get it.”
Patrick said among the problems during his early supervision was his probation officer’s rejection of Patrick’s job as a “spiritual guidance counselor” through a company set up by occupation supporter Maureen Peltier, who Patrick now calls his wife.
He said he received a “cease and desist order” from his probation officer regarding the work and was instructed to get legal employment. He said he plans to do more roof and construction work.
As for filing an income tax return, Patrick said he may submit a form that says “Income Tax Return” with a notice that says he didn’t provide the government anything and doesn’t expect anything in return, he said.